I already was quite sure that it is not Pistaccia (needed confirmation though) and was confused between S. terebinthifolius and s. mollis after reading weber. After your post I am 99% confident about the former species
Pistacia lentiscus has the "victory"-leaflets at the tip,
P. terebinthus a single leaflet at the tip which has about the same size as the other ones,
Schinus terebinthifolius has a single leaflet at the tip which is in size much more larger as the other ones, and
S. molle has about the double number of leaflets as all the other ones. In addition, leaflets of Pistacia terebinthus are smaller than those of Schinus terebinthifolius.
Your pic is Pistacia terebinthus- have a look in fall to confirm this with the red galls!
mwp, you should have trusted me and eaten some of the nice, spicy, sweet and slightly hot fruits although i remember a person who could not believe there is Schinus in Malta even after i made him eat the fruit. If you are afraid to try them i will sacrifice myself when i return to Malta.i am collecting Schinus fruit regularly as a spice in Malta and elsewhere and i never got poisoned. actually it is one of my favorite souvenirs (its free and you are destroying an invasive) and my friends back in germany can never get enough of it (they are still alive)
the vegetative characteristics (leaves) are often misleading in Schinus and Pistacia. In shadowy situations S. terebinthifolius might develop the large terminal leaflet which is actually a characteristic of P. vera. In sunny places the leaflets will be smaller and more elongated just like in your picture.
by the way Schinus fruits are round. pistacia terebinthus fruits are elongated.
The galls in Pistacia atlantica which jackpot has in mind are visible throughout most of the year, the galls in Pistacia terebinthus even throughout the whole year, but both plants are deciduous. so if you took the picture recently you must have traveled to Australia to get such nice green leaves.
maybe you check out San Anton where both sp grow together. i think there might even be labels.
So if the ripe red fruit are spicy/aromatic = Schinus, while if they are sour/spittable, then = Pistaccia right? (MWP admini = )
It is not clear, are you coming in Malta, have you found something profitable?
if you dont want to which you will not since Schinus terebintifolius is an established spice on the world market, you can squeeze the fruit and roll it between your fingers. if ripe the outer crisp skin will fall off revealing a hard, aromatic, pepper like smelling inner part.
in pistacia you would have ended up either with a lot of pungent pulp or with a hard dry fruit with inseparable skin depending on the degree of ripeness.
From this topic I am pleased to learn that not all 1ry pinnate-leaved, multiple small red-berries cluster trees are Pistaccia, there is the look-alike called Schinus .
Also this is a discussion FRIENDLY forum not an 'exam' so nobody should feel afraid express an opinion or what he thinks the species is and nobody should feel mistrusted, if a St.Thomas like myself takes time / shows doubt about some ID that experts like Jackpot or Sdravko (even Edwin Lanfranco!) give. I know it is a negative part of my character!
by the way, how did the talk about selling the mwp webside to MEPA go? are you content with the agreement?
If I pass by Mgarr, I will stop and have a taste and report the description here!
So was it Pistaccia spp. then?
JP said that P. ter. have a terminal leaflet but this insteadhad a V-shaped terminal pair (as seen in the pics)
The flowers where small, actinomorphic, white/cream with yellow centre.
PS: Found as a cultivated tree.
This confirms both Jackpot descriptions of these Anacardiaceae species , and Sdravko former ID. The initial pics I posted had many leaves in each other so it might confused anyone.
I composed a dichotomousare keys of the 4 species we mentioned using foliar morphology only:
1a: Pinnate compound leaves have a terminal leaflet .... 2
1b: Pinnate compound leaves do not have a terminal leaflet, a pair of leaves are found at the tip........ 3
2a: Terminal leaflet same size of the other leaflets below.... Pistacia terebinthus
2b: Terminal leaflet distinguishly larger than the leaflets below .... Schinus terebinthifolius
3a: Pinnate leaves hanging down, leaflet pairs plenty and narrow..... Schinus molle
3b: Pinnate leaves not hanging down, pairs not more than 3-6 ..... Pistacia lentiscus
Next time I add Pistaccia vera when I examine it in buskett.
I tasted the latter as Sdravko suggested and it was rather good, a mixture of pepper and sugar and anise (4:3:1)
P. lentiscus = very sour and foul
P. terebinthus = very sour/bitter
S. molle = peppery/aromatic followed by a sour taste
S. terebinthifolius = sweet peppery with hint of aromatic taste.
to finish the discussion, not only us on the forum but even some of the best Maltese botanists do doubleckeck certain specimens in that group (highly important for conservation reasons).